Kenneth Wallace was continuously looking down at a tracking app as he sped north on the A1
A driver who killed a teenage moped rider after he was distracted by using his mobile phone to track down his cheating wife was jailed for four and half years.
Jealous Kenneth Wallace, 53, was continuously looking down at a tracking App which he had fitted on his phone as he sped north on the A1 to confront his partner, Sarah.
The PR consultant was also sending text messages and searching Google shortly before his E-Class Mercedes-Benz struck moped rider Calum Dowers, 17, near Grantham, Lincolnshire.
Wallace, who believed his wife was meeting a man at a pub in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, had fitted a tracking device to her car and was heading up the A1 from the couple’s Cambridgeshire home to find her, a court heard.
Calum, who was waiting to join the RAF after passing his entry exams, was returning to his home in Stapleton, Leicestershire, after visiting his girlfriend in Grantham when witnesses described seeing Wallace “speed off” following the collision.
Wallace, who had drunk two glasses of wine before setting off to locate his wife, later claimed not to be aware of the impact despite significant damage to his wing mirror which was found at the scene and a warning light going off.
Lincoln Crown Court heard Calum was riding safely on the inside lane of the A1 when Wallace sped past other traffic at 90mph and knocked the teenager from his bike after failing to indicate that he was changing lanes.
Moments later Calum was struck by an articulated lorry and he died on the way to hospital in an ambulance.
The court heard one police investigator believed that if Wallace had stopped and helped Calum when the collision happened at 10.30pm he may not have died.
Alex Wolfson, prosecuting, said: “Witnesses described the Mercedes’ brake lights flashing twice before watching that vehicle speed off from the scene.
“The impact on the wing mirror must have been substantial. We do not accept he did not know the collision had taken place.”
The court heard Wallace’s wife left home at 7pm and had arranged to meet a man at a pub in Southwell at 8.30pm.
Mr Wolfson added: “Wallace was having matrimonial difficulties and he placed a tracking device in her car.
“He monitored the progress of that vehicle before he set off and throughout his journey.
“Text messages were sent in the period immediately leading up to the collision.
“There were Google searches for a solicitor and hotels in Southwell where he found the car.
“At the point of the collision he was on his way to find his wife and the person she was with.”
A speed camera triggered shortly after the collision estimated Wallace was still driving at 81mph. He continued to Southwell but returned home after failing to find his wife.
When police in Northamptonshire arrested Wallace the following morning he was significantly over the drink drive limit.
He later admitted placing a tracker on his wife’s car after discovering she had been having an affair for two years.
In a victim impact statement which was read out in court Calum’s mother, Kerry Dowers, said his death had forced her to give up work and significantly harmed his younger sister.
She said Calum was a “great son” who wanted to be an RAF medic. He had been accepted to join the service when he was 17 and half.
“That won’t happen now,” Kerry said.
“We all miss him terribly. His death will haunt us for the rest our lives.
“Wallace did not just destroy Callum that night, he destroyed all our lives.”
Calum left behind sisters Kia, 19, Lili-Maye Dowers, seven, and two older brothers.
Liam Muir, mitigating, said Wallace was a functioning alcoholic.
Mr Muir told the court: “He was married for 18 years but they are now separated. He is a man who was plagued by alcohol abuse.”
Wallace admitted causing Calum’s death by dangerous driving on 13 September last year.
He was also banned from driving for nine years and three months and must take an extended driving test.
Passing sentence Judge John Pini QC told Wallace his domestic difficulties were the reason he was so dangerous on the roads.
“You discovered your wife was having an affair. You placed a tracking device in her car to find her.
“Your wife left at 7pm to meet a gentleman at a pub in Southwell at 8.30pm.
“You should not have taken your personal problems on to the A1,” Judge Pini said.
“You were grossly distracted by continually looking down at your mobile phone which you had placed in the central console to track your wife’s movements.
“Internet searches were made and text messages sent while the car was moving.”
The judge said that other recent cases had highlighted the problems of using mobile phones behind the wheel.
“Parliament is so concerned it is considering further legislation,” he added. “The public should have got the message.”